Monday Mentorship with International Educator Justyna McMillan

Updated: Nov 15, 2018

Monday Mentorship: A Conversation With Justyna McMillan

Monday Mentorship is an opportunity to learn from a woman who is a leader in her field. We discuss her career trajectory, challenges, and advice for other women. Today's conversation is with Justyna McMillan.

Justyna is the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) Coordinator at Seoul Foreign School in Seoul, South Korea. In reflecting on our conversation, one thing Justyna talked about that really jumped out at me is her commitment to self-reflection. She identified reflection as a cornerstone of her practice, both for professional growth and for personal renewal in times of challenge or stress.

Another powerful point that Justyna made, in terms of resonating with me directly, is her commitment to self-confidence. In reference to tackling that next career leap, she said that to some extent you have to "sell yourself and sell your skills." I find that this element of self-promotion sometimes seems separate from work in education.

Her statement was so powerful to me because I think women are often taught to be humble, and not highlight their accomplishments. Yet to distinguish oneself in a competitive environment, a high degree of self-promotion required. Justyna notes that having the capacity and ability is implicit, but others must see it, too. Those mentors are the ones that demonstrate the belief in our "experiences, interests, curiosity, and capacity" so we can't be shy about articulating what we CAN DO.

Many women find self-promotion to be uncomfortable, including me. I'm self-confident but I, too, sometimes want to temper how I present myself in contexts when I'm being asked about my skills and experiences. How do you feel about self-confidence? Do you find it difficult to represent your experiences and strengths with confidence?


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